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  • Bullying Awareness

    Bullying Awareness

    By Patricia Grace

    Research has shown that approximately 15 percent of the population at school or in the workplace is openly involved with bullying. It is the youth of today who will be the source of success to put a stop to the behavior. Through understanding of the behavior and the judgment from past generations, our youth will be the change agent for a better future.

    Society needs to be aware of the different signs and types of bullying. Bullying in today’s society is not what past generations considered a rite of passage during different developmental stages of life.

    Signs of bullying:

    • Hostile and repeated behavior by one or more with the intent to harm
    • Physical violence and attacks
    • Verbal name-calling and put downs with the intent to threaten and intimidate another
    • Extortion
    • Exclusion from groups
    • Conscious aggressive behavior premeditated by an individual or group

    Types of bullying:

    • Verbal
    • Social exclusion
    • Physical
    • Rumors
    • Racial
    • Sexual
    • Cyber
    • Workplace harassment
    • Child and elder abuse

    The bottom line is that a person who bullies another has a sense of entitlement or the right to hurt or control another person. It is not about anger but control and power. There is satisfaction for the individual when causing pain to another human being. Peers tend to reward this behavior in material or psychological ways.

    Society not only needs to be aware of what bullying is, but also aware of the signs and behaviors of those who are the victim of this behavior. It is easy to be aware of the behavior of the bully but the behavior of the victim is more subtle.

    Behavior for those who are a victim of being bullied:

    • Symptoms of depression, sadness, and loss of interest in activities
    • Insecure and unsuccessful in school or at work
    • Low self-esteem
    • Health problems
    • Victims keep their problems a secret for they worry about what will happen if they expose the person or group
    • Victims do not speak up for they believe that nothing can be done to stop the bully behavior
    • Victims are isolated from other peers
    • Suicide attempts
    • For children, dropping out of school; for adults, a change in employment
    • Long-term struggles with coping throughout life

    Every community should address the issues of bullying behavior as it is not an individual social problem but a community and nationwide problem. In addition, individuals need to be aware of the behaviors of the bully and the victims by taking an active role in addressing the behavior when they see it happen. Communities and society as a whole need to see this social problem as a community health and wellness issue. It involves everyone.

    Bullying behavior, not only in schools but also in the workplace, is an expenditure to everyone. Adult bullying can lead to less productive work performances, along with illness due to the stress of the situation. For youth, school performance could be negatively affected or the child may drop out of school. Awareness and action are the only way to ensure that bulling behaviors are no longer a cost to our society.

    Bullying is an imbalance of power. The bully looks to the weak, depressed, disabled, the one who does not wear the right clothes, or the one who does well in school. They intentionally intimidate or harm, physically or psychologically, to gain the perceived power that they do not have inside themselves. The bully can be a child, a work supervisor, or even the CEO of a company. As a way to feel better about themselves, bullies may attack others intentionally to cope with their own insecurities and need for power.

    A research study conducted by Bennett Tepper, PhD, Georgia State University (2011), showed how the culture of a company that accepts workplace bullying has a negative trickle-down effect, leading to poor treatment of employees. In other words: bullying breads bullying. The cycle does not stop but becomes the norm. To support Tepper’s work, Theresa Glomb, PhD, University of Minnesota (2011), also found that when this is the norm, other work group members are likely to act aggressive and bully others.

    For many years the belief of society was the old saying of “kids will be kids.” This stereotype may still be prevalent, yet with incidents of children or adults affected by a growing culture of bullying, this problem has come to the forefront of society. It is the hope that through national conference and continued research in the area of bullying, society will understand what fosters this behavior and work to minimize the effects it has on children, youth, and adults.


     

    References:

    • Bullying.org. (2011). Bill Belsey. Bully Awareness Week. Retrieved from http://www.bullyingawarenessweek.org/
    • Glomb, T. (2011). Interpersonal aggression in work groups: Social influence, reciprocal, and individual effects. Academy of Management Journal. 46, 486 – 496. Retrieved from http://amj.aom.org/content/46/4/486.short
    • Lee, Jessie. President Obama & the First Lady at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. (2011) The White House Blog. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/03/10/president-obama-first-lady-white-house-conference-bullying-prevention.
    • Quinsey, V. Q. L., Skilling, T., Lalumiere, M., & Craig, W. M. (2003). Juvenile Delinquency: Understanding the Origins of Individual Differences. American Psychological Association
    • Tepper, B. J., Duffy, M. K., Henle, C. A., & Lambert, L. S. (2006). Procedural injustice, victim precipitation, and abusive supervision. Personnel Psychology, 59, 101-123. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2006.00725.x

     

    CPS - Patricia Green   

    Patricia Grace

    Patricia Grace is a full-time faculty member for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Department of Human Services. She holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in outpatient mental health and is licensed in the state of Wisconsin as an Independent Clinical Social Worker and an Independent Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist.

    Along with providing therapy services, Ms. Grace has been the administrator for two mental health clinics. She had her own private practice working with the chronically mentally ill population and children who suffered from autism, ADHD, ODD, and pervasive developmental delays. Her work also included intensive services for trauma victims, family therapy, and couples therapy. Ms. Grace is also licensed to conduct psychological evaluations and is an expert witness for court cases in the areas of child custody and forensics. Highly involved in her community, Ms. Grace now provides pro-bono therapy through many churches in her community.

    While in private practice, Ms. Grace taught both onsite and online classes and facilitated new student orientations. She loves working with all students and enjoys all she can offer to them.

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